Bienvenidos a todos.
I am Kathleen M. MacRae, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware.
We gather here today because we share the same values—we believe in human rights, civil rights, fairness and justice.
We gather here today to stand together as one big, diverse Delaware community —to support each other—and to tell our political leaders that Delaware does not need nor want to be complicit in the exclusion and mass deportation policies being carried out by the Trump administration in Washington, DC.
Today, the second Muslim travel ban and refugee exclusion was supposed to go into effect. But yesterday, it was blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii because the ban was unconstitutional and implementation would cause irreparable harm.
In the United States of America, we do not turn our backs on people looking for a better life or feeling the ravages of war—especially if we as a country have had a hand in creating the crisis—whether it be war in the Middle East or the war on drugs that we have waged to the south for decades—turning our backs on people is not who we are as a country.
We know that our immigration system is completely broken and that families will take risks to keep their loved ones safe and to strive to create a better life for themselves.
We gather here today to say NO to the fear, the hate, the white nationalism, and the xenophobia so prevalent in America today. We gather here today to tell our political leaders that when they take action to protect the immigrant community in Delaware we will have their backs. We will all stand together and say with one voice that Delaware protects our own and will not give in to fear and hate.
Today, we call on Governor John Carney to take action to provide this protection to Delawareans. We ask him to refuse to cooperate with the Trump plans of mass deportation and exclusion. We ask him to not enter into agreements to turn our police into immigration agents. We ask him to instruct the Department of Correction to not cooperate with ICE and detain people without a judicial arrest warrant, and we ask him to protect state databases that track immigration status of drivers and students. We ask the governor to do everything in his power to protect our immigrants and to provide strong leadership to urge others to take similar actions.
The ACLU also supports the resolution before the Christina school board to have all Immigration and Customs Enforcement action processed through the superintendent’s office and to not ask about immigration status of students and their families. The US Supreme Court has clearly established that all children, no matter their immigration status, deserve free access to education in this country. Christina should move to protect their students by passing that resolution, which they will consider next week.
Thank you all for showing up on this cold March morning and standing with us and the immigrant community in Delaware. Together, we can say NO to the hate and the fear and say yes to our shared values of human rights, civil rights, fairness and justice.